New Marshall 7″ On-Camera Monitor V-LCD70W-SH by; Olof Von Oss

 Gear  Comments Off on New Marshall 7″ On-Camera Monitor V-LCD70W-SH by; Olof Von Oss
Mar 262017
 

Marshall Electronics has just unveiled their latest LCD on-camera monitor, the 7″ V-LCD70W-SH. Originally planned for IBC 2016, it’s now finally available, so let’s have a quick look.

Marshall 7″ V-LCD70W-SH LCD monitor

There’s a wide range of decent on-camera monitors to choose from, and now there’s one more candidate: the new Marshall V-LCD70W-SH. It’s a 7″ HDMI and SDI LCD monitor with pretty much every feature you would expect in this class of monitors.

It features a detachable sun hood that’s also foldable, which can be quite useful for stowing away when not needed. Those tiny brackets look like they may be a little fragile, though…

Folded and extended sun hood.

When the sun hood is attached, all buttons remain accessible as they are located on the outside, which is nice. Three user-customizable buttons for common functions such as focus peaking can be found on the left-hand side of the monitor. The other buttons are for input, menu access and on/off.

In terms of connectivity, you can use both the HDMI and SDI signals as an input. There’s a cross converter built right into the V-LCD70W-SH, so you’re able to loop through whatever signal is needed to a client monitor, for example. As an addition, this 7″ LCD sports a built-in tally light with two colors to choose from: red or green.

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FUJIFILM X-T20 Review – Real World Video Samples and First Impressions

 Gear  Comments Off on FUJIFILM X-T20 Review – Real World Video Samples and First Impressions
Mar 262017
 

Late last year while visiting Japan, I was fortunate enough to test the FUJIFILM X-T2. Now I’m delighted to have its little sibling before me, the X-T20, which was first announced at the beginning of 2017. I certainly had some expectations in regards to the video capabilities from this little camera, especially knowing how well the bigger X-T2 preformed. Here’s my FUJIFILM X-T20 review, where I will focus on its video performance.

If you have been following the latest developments in our industry, you might agree with me that something good is happening regarding all things FUJI. Besides FUJINON – their optical devision that now brings us quality cinema zoom lenses at a reduced price – FUJIFILM now offers high-quality 4K video throughout their new APS-C line, an indicator that the company is listening to their customers. If I can be a fool and look into the future, I wouldn’t be surprised if FUJIFILM’s ambitions eventually merge, and what we will see is a proper high-quality filming tool to accompany their high-quality glass.

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New FUJIFILM X-T2 Cage – LockCircle Kinetics XT2 by; Jakub Han

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on New FUJIFILM X-T2 Cage – LockCircle Kinetics XT2 by; Jakub Han
Mar 062017
 

LockCircle is introducing their new FUJIFILM X-T2 cage called Kinetics XT2. Its asymmetrical design approach lets you hold the original grip of the camera, and features various threads for accessories as well as a baseplate, and HDMI and USB ports protectors.

LockCircle Kinetics XT2 cage with all the features

FUJIFILM X-T2 Cage – LockCircle Kinetics XT2

FUJIFILM X-T2 is a very interesting mirrorless camera for filmmakers that is especially capable in 4K. We tested this little camera couple of months ago, os if you haven’t yet, make sure to take a look at our real world video test and also our Lab test where we compared it against the Sony a7S II. LockCircle is now introducing their ergonomic cage for the FUJIFILM X-T2, which is designed to fit around the camera with an “asymmetrical design approach” for a right-handed camera grip. This means it is possible to hold the camera using the original grip even when the cage is mounted, as visible in the product photos. The weight of the cage itself is 300g (10 oz).

All camera controls remain visible and available as the FUJIFILM XT-2 cage has many cutouts, and offers multiple threads to mount various accessories – 79x 1/4”-20 threads and 3x 3/8”. The cage has also several threads to mount the AC tape measurement titanium hook.

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Cinematic Motion with GoPro ND Filters – PolarPro Cinema Series Filter Review

 Action cams  Comments Off on Cinematic Motion with GoPro ND Filters – PolarPro Cinema Series Filter Review
Mar 062017
 

A little edit of my recent skiiing holidays in Flachau, Austria. I used the GoPro Hero 5 black with the Karma Grip Gimbal and PolarPro ND filters – combo that works very well! Music is “High Speed Chase” by Terry Devine-King, licenced from audionetwork.com

Let me know how you like it and feel free to share it!

Follow me on twitter: twitter.com/gunmac

The timelapse sequences were shot on my Sony A7s II

 

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FUJINON MK18-55mm Technical Review – The New E-Mount Cine Zoom in the Lab by; Sebastian Wober

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on FUJINON MK18-55mm Technical Review – The New E-Mount Cine Zoom in the Lab by; Sebastian Wober
Mar 062017
 

FUJINON just introduced a new line of affordable E-Mount Cine Zooms made for documentary-style cine shooters. The FUJINON MK18-55mm T2.9 is the first of two complimentary zoom lenses and it’s already on our test bench – here’s our FUJINON MK18-55mm Review.

Featuring a claimed non-breathing focus mechanism, par-focal design and fully-geared cine lens controls, let’s confront this newcomer with our 8K test chart and compare it to the infamous new Zeiss LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9-3.9 and a similarly-specced Canon photo lens.

Also, check out our Hands-on FUJINON MK 18-55mm with Footage HERE.

Why is this Lens Interesting for Cine Shooters?

First of all, let’s look at why this lens is interesting for us! For many years, large-sensor video shooters have been forced to use photo lenses with our Canon, or Canon-adapted large-sensor cameras. As many of us shoot documentaries or documentary-style projects, using photo zoom lenses has been a real frustration as they’re designed for photography, meaning they have a short focus throw, no hard stops, no manual iris control, clunky zooming, breathing, are non par-focal… the list goes on, as these are considerations that aren’t really relevant for shooting still images. Only recently manufacturers have finally started delivering zooms that are fit for video production and are not as heavy on the lens barrel and the wallet as high-end cine zooms. The Sony 28-135mm was the first of its kind (reviewed here), Canon was next, and now FUJINON is the one to catch our interest.

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Sony Develops Super Slow Motion Sensor for Smartphones by; Jakub Han

 Cinematography  Comments Off on Sony Develops Super Slow Motion Sensor for Smartphones by; Jakub Han
Feb 162017
 

The capabilities of image sensors are constantly getting better, also in the area of the ubiquitous small smartphone sensors. Sony has developed a new 3-layer stacked high speed CMOS sensor with DRAM. It promises to minimise image distortion and add super slow motion capabilities to future smartphones.

Sony announced the development of the industry’s first 3-layer stacked CMOS sensor for smartphones. Compared to traditional 2-layer sensors, the new Sony sensor features an added DRAM layer. The purpose of this extra layer is to increase data readout speeds and make it possible to capture still images of fast-moving subjects with minimal focal plane distortion (something we also call “rolling shutter”) as well as super slow motion movies at up to 1,000 frames per second in 1080p.

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Schneider Optics Announces New Cine Prime Tilt Lenses by; Jakub Han

 Gear  Comments Off on Schneider Optics Announces New Cine Prime Tilt Lenses by; Jakub Han
Feb 022017
 

A few days ago, German optics manufacturer Schneider announced a new range of full-frame cine prime tilt lenses. This dynamic functionality allows for extended focusing possibilities and tweaking of the depth of field in your shots.
Introduced on January 27th, these new Xenon primes from Schneider are the world’s first full-frame Cine Primes tilt lenses. In terms of design, they are basically regular Schneider Xenon full frame primes, just with the added tilt function. If tilt is left at 0°, there is no loss of image quality or sharpness compared to standard Xenon primes.

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The Medium Format Fujifilm GFX 50S Camera is Finally Here and Shoots Video, by Sebastian Woberr

 Gear  Comments Off on The Medium Format Fujifilm GFX 50S Camera is Finally Here and Shoots Video, by Sebastian Woberr
Jan 212017
 

A few months ago Fujifilm unveiled its new mirrorless medium format camera that also shoots video, the Fujifilm GFX 50S. Today they’ve finally released all the details, including the GFX 50S video capabilities, pricing and availability.

The Fujifilm GFX 50S is a Big Thing for Photographers

We’re all about video functionality here at cinema5D, but first and foremost, the Fujifilm GFX 50S is significant news for photographers as it introduces a much more affordable medium format system, including lenses and accessories, in comparison to other systems in this field. Now it’s official, that the new GFX 50S goes for $6,499.

Other benefits of the Fujifilm GFX 50S is its compact size, the removable OLED viewfinder with close to Full HD resolution and of course the high sensor resolution of 51.4-megapixels (8256 x 6192). Fujifilm is also releasing three lenses as part of the new GF series, which cover a variety of focal lengths and promises more lens releases throughout 2017.

 

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The Hardware of the Panasonic GH5 – An Interview with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu by: Fabian Chaundy

 Gear, News  Comments Off on The Hardware of the Panasonic GH5 – An Interview with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu by: Fabian Chaundy
Jan 082017
 

With the expected shipping date for the Panasonic GH5 just over the horizon (here’s our detailed feature GH5 hands-on post from earlier today), we thought it would be a good time to catch up with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu to chat about some of the more technical aspects of the next member of the popular GH line of mirrorless cameras. Check out our interview at cinema5D HQ… shot, of course, on the Panasonic GH5.

We all know how much of a cut-throat business the camera world is, with manufacturers constantly trying to one-up one another in a constant and quick succession of new camera releases. As the first big camera release of 2017, the Panasonic GH5 aims to come out swinging, promising to bring a host of truly nice features for indie filmmakers. And about time, too, as after almost 3 years, the popular GH4 was slowly starting to lag behind next to the competition.

But before diving into the great features that the GH5 will bring in a couple of months, we first wanted to know why Panasonic didn’t decide to go all out with some much-requested bells and whistles, especially given its popularity among filmmakers both amateur and professional. So, Panasonic, why didn’t you include internal ND filters and RAW recording?

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Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD by: Graham Sheldon

 Gear  Comments Off on Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD by: Graham Sheldon
Jan 082017
 

The GH5 was announced back in September last year, but Panasonic kept many features of the camera close to the chest. Today, at CES, Panasonic pulled back the curtain. We have the full feature list and were invited to an exclusive prior GH5 hands-on event in Los Angeles. Spoiler alert, the camera looks great and it’s a cinematographer’s dream. Features, pricing and availability below: 

Watch our new interview about the GH5 with Panasonic advisor M. Uematsu in this new article by clicking here.

The built-in flash found in the old GH4 is gone and a whole new array of magical features aimed squarely at indie filmmakers have taken its place in the MFT Panasonic DMC-GH5, unveiled today at CES in Las Vegas. However, the Panasonic GH5, like a fine wine, will need to age gracefully into the summer to reach its full potential. More on that later.

Back in May of 2014, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 hit the market and became an instant favorite. Lauded for its internal 4K, variable frame rate option, XLR input module and professional video features such as peaking, zebras and cinema color profiles, it was clear that Panasonic built the camera with the cinematographer in mind. On paper, engineers have outdone themselves in every way with the new GH5.

Panasonic will be squishing features like 4:2:2 10bit 4K with a bitrate of 400Mbps and 180fps FHD variable frame rate recording into the tiny 2.0 pound body of the GH5. Over the years you get used to seeing specs like this from companies such as RED Cinema, but with the price point of a BMW 5-series. For the GH5, we are more in 1998 Honda Civic territory with a camera body price point of $2,000.

In short, the GH5 looks stylish, feels great to hold and shoots gorgeous video.

The camera launches with a max resolution of 4096×2160 up to 60fps with a bitrate of 150Mbps. Notice the differences from the features in bold above? That’s because Panasonic is rolling out a free firmware plan upgrading the camera into the summer, and 4K (400Mbps) All-Intra recording will unlock by July.

Of course, it would be great to have all the banner features right as you open the box, but like many video games these days, you’ll need to wait for updates before the camera has its full feature list, but what a list of features it is.

Here is the full firmware breakdown:

GH5 Firmware Upgrade Path:

4:2:2 10bit – Available April, 2017
6K/24p Anamorphic Video Mode (4:3) – Available Summer, 2017
(200 Mbps) FHD 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available Summer, 2017
(400Mbps) 4K 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available, Summer 2017

V-Log Color Profile  – Available at launch, Cost: $100

6K/24p Anamorphic Video Mode will be available in a 4:3 aspect ratio in the Summer and the very fact we are talking about getting 6K, or close, Anamorphic out of a $2,000 MFT body is exciting. Panasonic is calling this upcoming mode: “High Resolution Anamorphic” as it is 6K resolution in terms of pixel density, but not 6000 pixels of horizontal resolution.

**Update: The camera ships with Anamorphic 4K (4:3) with H.264 compression enabled. Come Summer 2017, 6K (4:3) will be shootable in H.265 compression with free firmware update. Firmware schedule below.  

Unfortunately, if you previously purchased V-Log for your GH4 you will not be able to transfer that update over to the new GH5. A new purchase is required.

While the GH5 has the same dynamic range as the Panasonic GH4, it has slightly improved lowlight performance, but I wouldn’t call this a lowlight camera by any means. We were presented with a ISO 6400 video sample and noise in the picture was very evident. On top of that, when shooting with high ISO settings, the camera will automatically reduce noise internally. This feature cannot currently be turned off and can only be controlled via the menu with high/mid/ and low settings. Panasonic is certainly willing to listen to feedback and might consider adding a complete “off position button” if there is a demand for it.

Color depth is improved and the GH5 will eventually shoot internal 4:2:2 10bit, compared to the 4:2:0 8bit of its predecessor, but launches with 4:2:0 8bit only in IPB compression. 4:2:2 10bit color is double the information of 4:2:0 and provides greater grading flexibility in the post process before the image falls apart.

Here is some gorgeous footage, shot on GH5, from the good folks over at Neumann Films:

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Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD, By Graham Sheldon

 Cinematography, Gear, News  Comments Off on Panasonic GH5 Hands-on – “6K” Anamorphic Video, 4K 60p, 180fps FHD, By Graham Sheldon
Jan 052017
 

The GH5 was announced back in September last year, but Panasonic kept many features of the camera close to the chest. Today, at CES, Panasonic pulled back the curtain. We have the full feature list and were invited to an exclusive prior GH5 hands-on event in Los Angeles. Spoiler alert, the camera looks great and it’s a cinematographer’s dream. Features, pricing and availability below:

The built-in flash found in the old GH4 is gone and a whole new array of magical features aimed squarely at indie filmmakers have taken its place in the MFT Panasonic DMC-GH5, unveiled today at CES in Las Vegas. However, the Panasonic GH5, like a fine wine, will need to age gracefully into the summer to reach its full potential. More on that later.
Back in May of 2014, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 hit the market and became an instant favorite. Lauded for its internal 4K, variable frame rate option, XLR input module and professional video features such as peaking, zebras and cinema color profiles, it was clear that Panasonic built the camera with the cinematographer in mind. On paper, engineers have outdone themselves in every way with the new GH5.
Panasonic will be squishing features like 4:2:2 10bit 4K with a bitrate of 400Mbps and 180fps FHD variable frame rate recording into the tiny 2.0 pound body of the GH5. Over the years you get used to seeing specs like this from companies such as RED Cinema, but with the price point of a BMW 5-series. For the GH5, we are more in 1998 Honda Civic territory with a camera body price point of $2,000.
In short, the GH5 looks stylish, feels great to hold and shoots gorgeous video.

The camera launches with a max resolution of 4096×2160 up to 60fps with a bitrate of 150Mbps. Notice the differences from the features in bold above? That’s because Panasonic is rolling out a free firmware plan upgrading the camera into the summer, and 4K (400Mbps) All-Intra recording will unlock by July.
Of course, it would be great to have all the banner features right as you open the box, but like many video games these days, you’ll need to wait for updates before the camera has its full feature list, but what a list of features it is.
Here is the full firmware breakdown:
GH5 Firmware Upgrade Path:

4:2:2 10bit – Available April, 2017
6K/24p Anamorphic Video Mode (4:3) – Available Summer, 2017
(200 Mbps) FHD 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available Summer, 2017
(400Mbps) 4K 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available, Summer 2017
V-Log Color Profile – Available at launch, Cost: $100
6K/24p Anamorphic Video Mode is available in a 4:3 aspect ratio. However, the very fact we are talking about getting 6K, or close, Anamorphic out of a $2,000 MFT body is exciting. Panasonic is calling this upcoming mode: “High Resolution Anamorphic” as it is 6K resolution in terms of pixel density, but not 6000 pixels of horizontal resolution.

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Sphere Pro – The 360 Degree Lens for DSLR by Jakub Han

 Gear  Comments Off on Sphere Pro – The 360 Degree Lens for DSLR by Jakub Han
Jan 012017
 

Sphere Pro lens is a new product from Sphereoptics — a young startup from New York. It brings 360 video capability to conventional DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. No stitching is required so converting videos to spherical format is easier and faster. 

The Sphere Pro lens is intended to be mounted (for best results) or held pointed upwards and it is designed to capture a 360° horizontal and 180° vertical field of view. That makes it one of a kind. It is a 35mm full frame format lens and has a Nikon F mount, but you can mount it to most cameras using an applicable adapter. The aperture is fixed at f/8 and focus is fixed as well (best at 40″/1meter).

From the test video you can see the image quality is not perfect, but for a quick VR experience it is sufficient. This lens gives you the ability to shoot conventional content with your personal camera and then quickly switch lenses and record a spherical video with the same body. If you wanted a better quality image you could mount the lens to a RED Cinema camera and shoot in significantly higher resolution, such as 6K. The image outcome will get better in line with the sensors used, which is an excellent feature of the device.

How does Sphere Pro lens work?

The device uses a special toroidal mirror with a reflective surface and series of optical elements to capture the full sphere of light around the lens into a circle-like image on the camera sensor. The resolution is therefore only dependent on the smallest dimension of the sensor. Converting the video to a spherical shape for VR viewing is easy and fast through pixel mapping. According to the creators, the process is so easy it can be done on your average iOS or Android device.

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DreamGrip Smartphone Rig for Filmmakers By: Jakub Han

 Gear  Comments Off on DreamGrip Smartphone Rig for Filmmakers By: Jakub Han
Dec 112016
 

If you’re a smartphone videography enthusiast maybe considering to step up your game, check out DreamGrip. You can use it with any smartphone, and allows you to mount plenty of accessories.

The quality of smartphone cameras has been steadily improving in recent times, with more and more people starting to use smartphones to generate high-quality video content. We brought you 10 useful Tips for cinematic smartphone videos in the past, but I think we will continue to see huge progress in smartphone videography in the coming years. This means more smartphone-oriented filmmaking accessories will start making an appearance.
DreamGrip is a Hong Kong-based company but with offices in Vancouver, Canada, and have been developing their smartphone rig since August 2015. After testing their first prototypes during the past year, they are now taking pre-orders.

What does the DreamGrip smartphone rig offer you?

Adjustable lens mount, so you can use any smartphone.
A variety of lenses: Fisheye, Wide Angle, Telephoto x2, Telephoto x3.
Bluetooth wireless remote with free app for Android and iOS.
Two cold shoe mounts on the handles.
Additional mounting possibilities through ¼” – 20” mounts and screws.
Adapter with a 52mm CPL filter.
One of the issues when filming with a smartphone at high resolutions while using Bluetooth is of course battery life. While I am not sure where you could mount a powerbank on this rig, it seems like it could accomodate one of those power cases for extra battery life. These are not available for all smartphones, though.

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The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit – a Removable Dual-Lens System for the iPhone 7 Plus By: Fabian Chaundy

 Gear  Comments Off on The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit – a Removable Dual-Lens System for the iPhone 7 Plus By: Fabian Chaundy
Dec 112016
 

The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit is a new, third-party dual-lens system for the iPhone 7 Plus. It features a sleek and slim design that makes it unobtrusive and quick to use.

Smartphone filmmaking is certainly a thing these days. Modern smartphones feature decent cameras that can be used in conjunction with a variety of apps, stabilisers and other accessories to produce very high quality content. Just take a look at this short film shot simultaneously on an iPhone 7 and a RED Weapon for the kind of end result you can achieve. By the way, if you want to learn more about iPhone filmmaking, make sure you check out this excellent article by cinema5D’s Richard Lackey.
One of the limitations you may find on your journey as an iPhone cinematographer is your camera’s lens. Camera accessory manufacturer Kamerar has announced a product that promises to help you achieve more interesting images: it’s the Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit for the iPhone 7 Plus.

The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit

The main difference to other third-party lens options out there is how seamlessly it integrates with your iPhone 7 Plus. The Kamerar ZOOM Lens Kit is based around an actual functional protective phone cover with access to all ports, meaning that you don’t have to whip out lens mounts whenever inspiration strikes and you change from phone mode to shooting mode.

 

The back of the case features a slot in which to insert the different dual-lens setups, allowing you to quickly flip up the optics when you want to change your field of view and optical characteristics. This removes the need to screw and unscrew different lenses, and helps you save time when trying to get that unexpected shot.
Kamerar claims their removable dual-lens system for the dual camera on the iPhone 7 Plus is the first in the world, and this does in fact seem to be the case, as other third-party offerings only appear to make use of one of the cameras.

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Compact Wireless Video Gets Range Boost – Teradek Bolt 500 Announced

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Compact Wireless Video Gets Range Boost – Teradek Bolt 500 Announced
Nov 122016
 

Teradek has announced a new compact wireless video system. The Teradek Bolt 500 keeps the small form factor of the Bolt 300, but with an increased range of an impressive 500-foot distance, as well as offering HDMI/SDI conversion. 

Teradek has become one of the industry standards for wireless video transmission systems. They offer robust solutions for when you are you looking to transmit your video signal to a wirelessl, whether for providing a separate monitor for client viewing, director viewing and/or your camera is situated where running a cable isn’t practical, such as when sat on a gimbal, high out of reach or across a long distance.

The Bolt 500 is, however, still placed in Teradek’s short range category, a product that will favour users looking to keep their wireless systems small. The Bolt 500 is similar in size to its smaller 300-foot range brother, but step up to the Bolt 1000 and above and you’ll have to deal with a larger physical system when taking antennas into consideration.

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HDR? This Canon White Paper Demystifies High Dynamic Range

 HDR Info, Technique  Comments Off on HDR? This Canon White Paper Demystifies High Dynamic Range
Nov 062016
 

High Dynamic Range. Heard of it? Canon recently released a white paper on HDR written by Canon Fellow Larry Thorpe, laying down the key concepts and preoccupations regarding this emerging technology.

HDR. You’ve probably seen it advertised all over the place: on the latest generation Atomos recorders, on silly smartphone apps that take the High Dynamic Range look way over to the extreme, on new televisions and monitors claiming to be HDR Ready… It seems like its something we should want… but what is it?

In his recent white paper about HDR, Senior Canon Fellow Larry Thorpe explains the trends in advancements in imaging technologies, and the main 5 parameters in which there has been particular preoccupation.

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Chronos 1.4 – Affordable 1050fps Camera for 720p Slow Mo

 Gear  Comments Off on Chronos 1.4 – Affordable 1050fps Camera for 720p Slow Mo
Oct 312016
 

The Chronos 1.4 camera is the result of the efforts of a single engineer, David Kronstein, who is working diligently to bring slow motion to a wider group of filmmakers. The device –  now “production ready” and headed to Kickstarter in the “next few months” for funding – is capable of 1050fps at a resolution of 1280×1024.  Read on for all the details, including footage samples: 

Shooting great-looking slow motion is really, really expensive and usually requires renting a Phantom high-speed camera for the best shots at 300 fps+, or an equally pricey RED Epic Dragon or Weapon for anything below 300 fps. Slow motion, however, is almost always worth it.  Don’t take my word for it –  just look at the trailer for Planet Earth II here, which includes some epic slow motion moments.

The YouTubers over at the “TAOFLEDERMAUS” channel have gotten their hands on a prototype production model of the Chronos 1.4 and have in-camera footage to show as well:

As you can see from the video, there are still a few kinks to work out: there is a 30 second boot up time from the moment the power button is pressed, and saving to SD card takes a considerable amount of time as well, but hopefully we’ll see improvements as the project progresses.

This is very much a speciality tool, especially given the lack of full 1080p resolution, but it is cheap and shows promise at being a no-fuss slow motion solution in the future.

Once fully funded through Kickstarter, the 8GB base model of the Chronos 1.4 is expected to cost a (comparatively speaking) very affordable $2,500.

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Apple Announces the 2016 MacBook Pro with new Touch Bar

 Apple  Comments Off on Apple Announces the 2016 MacBook Pro with new Touch Bar
Oct 312016
 

The release of the new 2016 MacBook Pro marks the 25th anniversary of Apple’s first laptop computer. As always, the refresh brings a reduction in weight and size, a boost in performance, but this time also introduces the new Touch Bar. But what does it mean for video editors?

The October Apple event came right on the heels of their recent launch of the iPhone 7, but many already had a clear idea of what was to be announced. With the current series of MacBook Pros overdue for a refresh, it was fairly obvious that it was their turn to take centre stage.
The new range of MacBook Pros is quite a bit thinner and lighter than the previous generation, challenging even the dimensions of the MacBook Air. In terms of connectivity, the 2016 MacBook Pro features Thunderbolt 3 ports only, offering incredibly fast speeds of up to 40Gbps. Even when using any one the ports for charging the machine, the rest make up for it due to the to the daisy chaining functionality of Thunderbolt. What is a bit of a downer for video shooters, though, is that Apple has completely left out the SD card reader on the new 2016 MacBook Pro. Oh, and it still features a 3.5mm headphone jack, just in case you were wondering…
In terms of performance, the 2016 Macbook Pro features an Intel Core I7 processor, AMD Radeon Pro graphics card with Polaris Architecture (for the 15 inch model) and faster SSD drives. Apple claims all of these improvements boost performance far beyond the previous generation in important areas for video production. The Retina display is also capable of quite a lot more contrast ratio and colour, responding to the ever increasing demand for higher dynamic range and wider colour gamut of today’s professional video industry. The graphics card included in the 2016 MacBook Pro was also mentioned to be capable of driving two 5K external monitors in addition to the MacBook Pro Retina display. Nice!
The feature that stole the show, however, was the new Touch Bar. This Retina-quality, multi-touch strip – located where the escape and function keys used to be – is a content-aware interface that allows you to control system and application settings with familiar gestures such as tapping and swiping. 
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MIOPS MOBILE: A Versatile Camera Remote That Connects to Your Phone

 Gear, Technique  Comments Off on MIOPS MOBILE: A Versatile Camera Remote That Connects to Your Phone
Oct 242016
 

With only 3 days left and over triple the minimum funding goal of $50 000, Miops Mobile is offering something that is both useful and compact for your everyday filmmaking needs.

Camera Remotes have been a standard tool in everyone’s kit for a while now, but they can be expensive, plain and boring. Many have tried to use Kickstarter as a platform to reinvent the small black and white screened remotes. With Apple OS Kits allowing customers to tap into the power of mobile applications, MIOPS have tapped into the power of using an app that allows more than any trigger could possibly offer, and that at an even better price.

MIOPS MOBILE Remote features

Motion, Vibration Sense and Sound Trigger Mode

The app’s MOTION mode uses the smartphone’s camera to watch for the action. It captures photos of moving objects without the need for a manual trigger. This could be useful for capturing wildlife, or even a moving selfie.

The MIOPS MOBILE will also trigger a shot using its vibration sense feature. Using the architecture of a smartphone’s gyroscope and accelerometer, the phone can be attached to a pole, which will allow you to capture your best slam dunk.

Using the smartphone’s microphone, the MIOPS is capable of triggering on sound bites.

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Kodak Ektra, the Photography-First Smartphone – Gimmick or Game Changer?

 Gear  Comments Off on Kodak Ektra, the Photography-First Smartphone – Gimmick or Game Changer?
Oct 242016
 

Kodak Ektra – hard to tell if it’s a phone or a camera, seen from the back …

In a surprising move from Kodak, the company forever synonymous with photography has unveiled the Kodak Ektra, a photography-first smartphone.

Chase Jarvis coined the phrase “The best camera is the one that’s with you”, and I couldn’t agree more. For many of us, that’s our phone.

Building a phone around a proper camera instead of the other way around is something that hasn’t really been done to the extent that many photographers might like. It seems this didn’t go unnoticed by Kodak, and they’ve jumped at the chance to stake a claim, and define that niche for themselves.

The Ektra is not the first smartphone to bear the Kodak brand, however. You have probably never heard of the IM5, released early last year in a pretty feeble attempt to grab hold of people’s nostalgia for the Kodak brand. Not a great phone, nor a great camera.

The Kodak Ektra, however, looks like a much better attempt. It seems like Kodak might be onto something this time, although the specs themselves seem average compared to how far some manufacturers are currently pushing to claim the top smartphone camera spot. The hardware itself is made by manufacturer-for-hire Bullitt, who also make phones for Caterpillar among others.

Kodak have some major competition for the hearts and minds of mobile photographers. There is certainly a legitimate market for a fantastic camera that happens to make phone calls, connect you with all your social media, and let you run all your favorite smartphone apps… but is the Ektra really everything it claims to be?

Kodak Ektra – Gimmick or Game Changer?

One could argue that the imaging specs of the Ektra are not actually pushing the envelope. The camera is based around a 21MP Sony sensor with 6-axis optical image stabilization and an f/2.0 lens. This is good, but far from revolutionary, considering the 41MP sensor in the Nokia Lumia 1020, or dual camera configurations from the major players in a cutthroat industry that will pull out all the stops to offer the best imaging tech available. Is Kodak offering the best cutting edge imaging technology? Not really, but it does stack up pretty well.

Kodak Ektra: 21MP, UHD 4K video, f/2 fixed lens, optical image stabilization

Sony Experia Z5 Compact: 23MP, UHD 4K video, f/2.3 fixed lens
Apple iPhone 7: 12MP, UHD 4K video, f/1.8 fixed lens, optical image stabilization
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 2x 12MP, UHD 4K video, f/1.8 wide angle fixed lens + f/2.8 telephoto fixed lens, optical image stabilization
Samsung Galaxy S6: 16MP, UHD 4K video, f/1.9 fixed lens, optical image stabilization
Huawei P9: 2x 12MP, UHD 4K video, f/2.2 (x2) fixed lens, SteadyShot video stabilization

Maybe it’s not about that. I’m sure the camera functions just fine, and produces perfectly acceptable images, as well as 4K video. The Ektra does have an attractive design and a distinct style which will appeal to the photo enthusiast, especially those like myself who like to shoot film and walk around with 40-year-old SLR’s hanging around the neck. It has a nostalgic leatherette covering, a throwback to a time long past.

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